While I speak French well, it’s not my first language. But because the business mustn’t lose out on the exposure provided by media coverage, the second language thing cannot be a deterrent.
So, what do you do, if you aren’t “perfect” (whatever that means) in a language but do not want to pass up the chance to do a media interview?
The answer is about honest self-assessment and prep.
Here are four tips for preparing for second language media interviews:
1. Know your level of linguistic mastery. Whether you’re ready do to an interview in a language other than your mother tongue begins with knowing, precisely, where you stand with that language. Be honest with yourself, are you good enough to do a live spot or is a more forgiving pre-taped format the only way to go?
2. Know your media outlet, host, and show. The interview I did last week was on a fairly light-hearted TV show. As a result, the level of language was relatively basic. More complex, headier subject matter—the kind one gets on NPR or Radio-Canada—usually requires better command of language. Knowing about the outlet, show, and host will help you discern the level of language required.